On the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Posted October 15, 2015 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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On the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead GeorgeOn the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Series: Mountain #2
Also in this series: My Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
on May 21st 2001
Genres: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned
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four-stars

Two years ago, Sam ran away from New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains. Now his younger sister Alice has joined him and is quietly living in a tree house of her own nearby. Their peaceful life is shattered when a conservation officer confiscates Sam’s falcon, Frightful, and Alice suddenly vanishes. Sam leaves his home to search for Alice, hoping to find Frightful, too. But the trail to the far side of the mountain may lead Sam into great danger.

 
Main Points
Writing Style 
Similar to the first in the series, My Side of the Mountain. Simple at times, elegant at others, never overstating anything.
Story (spoilers)
I must say I liked the first one better, because there was so much more information. This book was less about Sam making a living out of nothing and more about following his sister. Even Frightful doesn’t get to do much, because she is kidnapped and then set free at the end. So basically her time of fame is in the first book.
But it was pretty entertaining to watch Sam and Bando alternate between thinking like Alice and thinking like a pig, and it was nice when both plots (Alice’s disappearance and Frightful’s confiscation) tie in together at the end.
Characters 
Sam: Still very likeable and reasonable. And very smart.
Alice: Wonderful and clever and so imaginative. “I’m thinking waterfalls”…. and so mysterious. She has a kind heart and a smart mind. The perfect companion to Sam on his mountain.
My opinions on the others can be found in the My Side of the Mountain book review.
Ending (spoilers)
The ending was so sad! I’m not entirely sure I would have made the same choice as Sam about letting Frightful go free (would she adapt at all?), but apparently the third book in the trilogy clears that up. Still, it was kind of heartbreaking, even if you knew that was the right thing to do.
Bottom Line
Overall, I preferred the first book, but this one seemed an appropriate sequel. It had more story than information, so the books complement each other. Of course, you couldn’t read one without the other. Will I be continuing the series? Yes, because I don’t agree with the end of this book. Would I read more by Jean Craighead George? Possibly, but probably not. Would I recommend this book to others? If they’ve read the first one and want more closure.

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About Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George wrote over eighty popular books for young adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the Newbery Honor book My Side of the Mountain. Most of her books deal with topics related to the environment and the natural world. While she mostly wrote children’s fiction, she also wrote at least two guides to cooking with wild foods, and an autobiography, Journey Inward.

The mother of three children, (Twig C. George, Craig, and T. Luke George) Jean George was a grandmother who joyfully read to her grandchildren since the time they were born. Over the years Jean George kept one hundred and seventy-three pets, not including dogs and cats, in her home in Chappaqua, New York. “Most of these wild animals depart in autumn when the sun changes their behaviour and they feel the urge to migrate or go off alone. While they are with us, however, they become characters in my books, articles, and stories.”

Rating
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-stars
Setting
four-half-stars
Ending
two-half-stars
Overall: four-stars
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